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Panasonic Drops Exchange, Opts for IBM LotusLive

Panasonic has selected IBM to provide hosted e-mail and collaboration services for its global workforce.

The electronics manufacturer is making the move to better connect its employees, partners and suppliers worldwide, according to an announcement issued on Thursday by IBM. The deal includes e-mail, file sharing, Web conferencing and collaboration services.

Panasonic is planning to gradually migrate from using Microsoft Exchange as its primary premises-installed e-mail server.

Instead, Panasonic will use IBM's hosted LotusLive.com services for e-mail, contacts and calendar support. In addition, IBM's LotusLive Connections service will provide Panasonic with a social networking solution.

A spokesperson for IBM said that Panasonic expects to connect 100,000 users worldwide this year using the services. However, in the next two years, that number may expand to more than 300,000 users. LotusLive services use IBM's federation and encryption technologies for e-mail security.

IBM currently offers six LotusLive services: Connections, Engage, Events, Meetings, Notes and iNotes. The services can be ordered a la carte. However, in the case of Panasonic, IBM established a bundled service deal, according to the spokesperson.

The choice to go with LotusLive came after Panasonic investigated offerings from Cisco, IBM, Google and Microsoft. Cisco and Google were eliminated early in the process, the spokesperson said.

Late last year, IBM rolled out a calendar and e-mail service called LotusLive iNotes, which is designed for portable devices. iNotes is a lightweight, pure cloud-based offering that stems from IBM's acquisition of Hong Kong-based Outblaze Ltd.'s messaging solution in April 2009

IBM offers a 30-day trial of LotusLive, which is available at no cost. IBM now offers LotusLive in eight more languages.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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